By Aaron Recuenco
Director General Oscar Albayalde, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), has washed hands on the relief of Director Camilo Cascolan as the head of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO).
Instead, Albayalde stressed that the replacement of Cascolan was a decision made by the PNP leadership based on the deliberation of the oversight committee on the performance of police commanders.
“We are not only focused on NCRPO. A lot of commanders were affected by the reshuffle. What we did was a major revamp,” said Albayalde when asked about rumors on the real reason behind the relief of his mistah, Cascolan.
Both Cascolan and Albayalde are members of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1986.
“It is a command decision, a collective effort. It’s not my decision,” he added.
Cascolan, along with Deputy Director General Ramon Apolinario, was a top contender for the PNP chief, a post which was eventually won by Albayalde.
Some police officials see the new appointment of Cascolan as a demotion since the top post of the Civil Security Group (CSG) is considered as a position for one-star rank.
Cascolan is a two-star general. Prior to his appointment as NCRPO chief, Cascolan already headed the Directorate for Operations which is considered as Directorial Staff post ideal for two-star ranks.
Except for the CIDG and the Special Action Force (SAF), other National Support Units are usually headed by a one-star police general.
But Albayalde was quick to clarify that the new post of Cascolan is a position for a two-star rank, thus, not a demotion.
“It’s not a demotion. We put him to the CSG, that’s a National Support Unit with a national scope, it’s like Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG),” Albayalde said.
Sources said the last straw that led to Cascolan’s replacement was when he allegedly changed some of the policies implemented by Albayalde when he was still the NCRPO chief, especially Cascolan’s decision to give the policemen enough time to rest in order for them not to sleep while on duty.
Albayalde, it was recalled, has sacked a number of Metro Manila policemen whom he would catch sleeping inside police stations or police cars.
The PNP chief, however, stressed that the recent reshuffle is a result of intense deliberation and performance evaluation by the PNP oversight committee.
“Since Day One of my assumption as PNP chief, we have been saying that there will be key deliberations on all personnel, commanders up to the regional level,” said Albayalde.
“We have been also saying that we are putting the right person on the right job,” he added.